Transplanting Pawpaw, Persimmon

I have some third leaf trees(Oikos seedlings) that I grafted over (successfully! ) this past
spring which have been growing in a nursery bed. I would like to move them out to permanent spots, but am a bit wary since I have read that these taprooted trees can be sensitive to being disturbed. A few pointers I have read include transplanting in the warmer months for pp, as that is when the roots callus and put on regrowth, root pruning by circling the future transplant with a spade 6 months before moving it. Any practical tips?

A couple of the w&t grafted pawpaws to give an idea of scale-

Hybrid persimmon grafted on native seedling, hope it remembers to harden off soon!


Jesse I move pawpaw dormant in early spring only when they are dormant. I’ve had luck moving them if I dig up half of Kansas and if the tree is small enough like yours. I’ve killed them before getting in a hurry and not taking my time. Great looking pawpaws by the way.

I planed two paw paw potted plants in ground in May, 2015. Later realized that the area was too shady. This spring before the plants leafed out, I dug them up and planted them in a new location.

I cut off the tap roots with a shovel as I did not know the roots would go that deep after being in ground for less than a year. They took their time to leaf out but have done well so far.

I would vote for moving yours in the spring. They seem fine even with some tap roots got cut off.

1 Like


my only tip would be patient optimism…I transplanted a couple pawpaw this year, some 1-yr seedlings and a stubby second-year graft. Many of the 1-yr looked to die, over half came back kept moist and in the shade, but they took like a month and a half to leaf.

The grafted plant I had put a piece of Mango on as a rescue branch, and that whole plant died back over 3 or 4 weeks, losing every leaf, then a week later Mango came on a stick that had been grafted over 2 months back. After a couple weeks I had resigned myself to Mango instead of the original, when now I have leaflets of Shenandoah that came another couple weeks after the Mango. Go figure, but they take their time pulling through and re-growing…

I experienced what I thought was the loss of one or both Pawpaws last Fall (planted Feb '15), and I think the problem was improper care (watering them with high-pH well water, for one). I made some last ditch efforts to help them before they appeared to fade out; but this Spring, after quite a while of nothing, they came back strong.
About June 1 this year, I planted three more, in a much better location. Two of them had very small root systems but had just been transferred into 3 gal. pots and were sold ‘as though’ and are still alive. One has a mystery problem that could be wind damage or a bug or ?? To explain the photos: the cyan hexagon shows leaf damage from the top of the cage, and shows why I put padding in other places on the cage top; the lavender rectangle shows ?? maybe caterpillar damage; the three red rectangles show the mystery damage. It seems that all three of the newer plants might be experiencing nutrient deficiency so I gave them all a mild dose of iron and organic fert just two days ago, including foliar spray. I’d like to hear any ideas about what might be causing this odd injury. Thanks in advance.

Possibly slugs.They will eat Pawpaw leaves. Brady
This is a photo of some young ones in pots,inside a plastic tub.The shiny slime may not be visible in the pic.
I need to stop those buggers.These are fairly small slugs.

1 Like

I have some about that size and I’ve been growing them in air-pruning RB2 containers. This lets me keep the young photosensitive trees in filtered light for the first two seasons and makes transplanting them into full sun a dream. I had something leaf munching a little. I sprayed them with permethrin and it stopped.


Do you do your transplanting while the trees are dormant as well?

@forestandfarm What gallon RB 2 pots do you use?

With the air pruning containers, the root ball is completely undisturbed with planting so trees can be transplanted any time as long a supplemental water is available when needed. They continue to grow immediately since they don’t need to reestablish the root system. My trees will be going to may farm where they won’t get supplemental water so I’ll be planting them when dormant this winter/spring.

Hamebone, I started the seeds in 18s under lights indoors. After 12-16 weeks I transplanted them into 1 gal RB2 containers. They spent last year growing in them for their first growing season. I overwintered them in a cold room where I was sure the roots would not freeze. I then transplanted them into 3 gal RB2s this spring after our last threat of frost and put them back out on my deck. I still have a couple of tiny ones that need to be transplanted, but most of them have been in 3 gal RB2s for this entire growing season.


although it is advised, I could not. Mine were leafed out which is probably why they did so poorly…

I am familiar with Pawpaws, being from Indiana, but hadn’t considered adding them to my BYOC. I live in town, but in an area surrounded by wooded acreage, Frequent wildlife visiting my fenced, shady backyard, either a raccoon or possum have “gifted” me with a Pawpaw now 4 years old. It is in the worst spot, and is now 7 ft tall, 3 inches at the base, and thriving. I have waited to see if it would bloom, and so far no luck. Seeing how much everyone here enjoys them, I hate to cut it down, but it’a in a path area and I wonder how old they are before it might bloom. After 4 years, it’s well branched and has lush growth, does anyone encourage me to leave it in hope that it will bloom? I like the fruit, and have only found them in the wild, and understand the problem of getting it pollinated even if it did bloom. Any advice on keeping it or cutting it? After 2 back surgeries, transplanting it is not an option, sadly.

Poor wolf,
Yes leave it it will bloom any year now. My mom had a 5 footer that was 4 years old bloom. You can graft another variety on the same tree for pollination and it will be easier than you think. That gift was the best gift that raccoon could have gave you.


That’s a lot better than the gifts that raccoons leave in my yard!

1 Like

Our local pawpaw expert says that they very consistently take 7 years to fruit for him. Presumably grafting would help (and you probably need to anyway, for cross-pollination).

1 Like

I agree with Clark in KS:
Dig a big hole before even starting to dig up the previous one. Have it all ready, after SPring has started. Move it gently, like the baby that it is. Have all of your fill in soil ready. Keep it watered enough for awhile after. Don’t move a grown up, you’ll kill him. That’s mean.
John S

1 Like

Clark, thanks for the advice. I must have had a simple minded moment, since I didn’t even consider the grafting option for pollination. The tree is looking more attractive already!

1 Like

I agree Bigdoug. Raccoons are my biggest pest by far, and I have those bold City raccoons that come thru and look in the backdoor. I do trap and relocation out to the river bottoms. In my worst year I trapped 32, and around a dozen a year for a few years after that. Lately I’ve had 3 groundhogs show up and the trap is set and baited with carrots. Then I will move a few raccoons before my grapes are ripe.Then hopefully my critter problems will slow down for awhile.